LONG BRANCH, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced that Long Branch has been accepted for inclusion in the state’s Transit Village Initiative, which partners the cities with several state agencies to help implement mixed-use development and Complete Streets accommodations near transit facilities.
With the designation, Long Branch, Monmouth County becomes the 32nd municipality to become a Transit Village statewide. Ten state agencies make up the Transit Village Task Force, which has been working with the towns since their efforts to earn the designation began.
“A municipality can only be designated a Transit Village after performing important visioning and planning work that sets the stage for redevelopment to occur,” NJDOT Acting Commissioner Richard T. Hammer said. “I applaud Long Branch for its planning efforts and the proactive approaches in its exciting current and future developments. Long Branch can expect priority consideration in funding and technical assistance from many of the participating agencies.”
The Long Branch Train Station is located three blocks from the beach, and the city’s vision is to create a pedestrian friendly environment that supports high-density, mixed-use, residential, retail, and commercial development. Long Branch’s Complete Streets policy incorporates direct access to the train station, the beach, and the downtown area. Long Branch plans to enhance walkways and make street improvements along Morris Avenue and Pavilion Avenue leading to downtown, as well as the all the way to the oceanfront to improve visitor access.
Future development projects proposed in the Transit Village district include mixed use commercial and residential buildings, as well as a parking facility and development for an ocean pier/ferry with recreational and retail amenities. The Monmouth Medical Center campus is located across from the train station and is looking to redevelop internally as well as add street level health care related offices and services.
The NJDOT-administered Transit Village Initiative provides participating towns with planning expertise and grant opportunities to redevelop land near train or other transit facilities in a way that promotes economic activity and the use of public transportation.
Transit Village designation provides:
- State of New Jersey commitment to the municipality’s redevelopment vision
- Coordination among ten State agencies that comprise the Transit Village Task Force and technical assistance from state agencies
- Priority consideration for certain funding opportunities
New Jersey’s first Transit Village was designated in 1999. The roster now includes Pleasantville, Morristown, Rutherford, South Amboy, South Orange, Riverside, Rahway, Metuchen, Belmar, Collingswood, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Cranford, Matawan, New Brunswick, Journal Square/Jersey City, Netcong, Elizabeth, Burlington City, Orange, Somerville, Montclair, Linden, West Windsor, East Orange, Dunellen, Summit, Plainfield, Park Ridge, Irvington, Hackensack, and now Long Branch.
The Department has programmed $1 million in the Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Program to provide funding to local governments that are part the state Transit Village Initiative. Applications for Transit Village designation are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by the Transit Village Task Force. The task force reviews applications and makes recommendations to the NJDOT Commissioner, who has final approval of Transit Village designations.